Sunday, January 11, 2015

Do over

Sometimes quilting just requires a "do over'.  This quilt is one of those.
I made this quilt for my niece-the-quilter 8-9 years ago and did straight line quilting since I did not have access to a longarm.  I called it "Tequila Sunrise" because she is a huge Jimmy Buffett fan. But alas, as it turns out Jimmy Buffett did not sing "Tequila Sunrise" but I think the name is perfect in spite of my feeble attempt.
As with this black and white quilt I did for my now daughter-in-law, the stitching started pulling and breaking over time and it needed to be fixed.
So, I loaded it on the longarm.
I quilted it with a curvy pattern so it wouldn't overlap the straight line quilting.
I pulled out the old stitching.
It was a little work but I was happy to do it....and happy to have it done.
It's now back home where it belongs and I'm thrillled it's "fixed" and should hold for another 8-9 years.

But --- I have one more to do and then I think I will have fixed all the quilts that I can remember that I quilted this way.  I want my quilts loved.  I want them used.  And I want them to last.  So a do over is an easy decision -- start to finish, it's easily done in a week and the binding is already done!

I hope you are avoiding do overs and starting the new year with lots of creativity!

Jan




Friday, December 26, 2014

Planting a forest

Ever had an idea that seemed logical in your head and once you executed it - you weren't so sure?  That's what's going on here.
This started out as a version of crazy mom quilts "birch trees".  I love this pattern and bought it with the intent of making it for our new grandson who is to put in an appearance in early March.  I started piecing the brightly colored birches - I studied her version - I pondered lights and darks.  And then it took a right turn.
And I began to wonder if I could do more realistic birch trees.  And would that make sense for a baby quilt?  So I began to do a search on Pinterest and Google and came up with a beautiful and sophisticated wall hanging from tallgrass prairie studio's "night forest".   Isn't this lovely?  And I loved the contrast of lights and darks and all the different fabrics she used.
I still wasn't sure but I was intrigued and decided to try it.  It's for family, after all, and if it's a little too "out there" or non-traditional, they won't have trouble telling me.  So I started and had no idea what I was doing.  I went through my strings; I pulled some pre cut strips from my bins; and I dug into my strips from men's shirts.
I had forgotten how much I Iike improvisational piecing.  I just put away the ruler and started cutting.  It went together quickly and when I did something I didn't intend to -- I just made it work.  This is what the first version looked like when I added strips.  The first image is the finished top and there was some evolution in design -- but not a lot. No pinning!  Just cut, sew, and repeat.
This required me to stop working on the Quiltville mystery for a few days but I'm hoping to get caught back up while I ponder how to quilt this.  I love the negative space but I've learned that dense quilting on a baby quilt takes away any "drape" until it's been washed a number of times.  So, rather than create a "stiff" quilt for "Rex Webb Steve" (the name our grandson has chosen -- we're not monogramming anything just yet!), I'll restrain myself and not over quilt it.
I hope you are finding time to "create" and improvise occasionally and enjoy the process! Looking forward to a wonderful 2015 and more creativity!

Jan

Saturday, December 6, 2014

And now there are 10...

......and "only" six to go.  ONLY.  Only?  Only.  No matter how I say it -- it's still six blocks and I'm not working on any of them right now.  My goal to get Kim McLean's Lollypop Quilt appliqued this year won't happen. So - "maybe" 2015. MAYBE. Maybe? Maybe.
Nevertheless, I do love this quilt and I will finish it -- and the border blocks too! It will be huge. It will be a terror to quilt.  It will be a quilt I keep forever. It will be done!
I'd like to say I've accomplished all matter of other things. Not the case. I have started a lot of things -- including the mystery quilt by Bonnie Hunter. Here are the remnants of step 1. Step 2 is about half done.

I have a few things I have to get done by Christmas so I'll work on the mystery quilt as much as I can - but I'm going to have to start focusing on gifts and commitments (not to mention Christmas, baking, decorating, and the best -- family).

I hope you are enjoying the holidays - finishing a few things - starting new things - and loving every minute of it!

Jan

Friday, November 21, 2014

One more time...

Once again, I needed a baby quilt and I turned to my old faithful pattern.  These are darling puppy dog (and a few kitty) prints that were gifted from my friend, logcabinquilting.  This went together like a charm (as it always does) and was in the hands of the new grandmother within a week of cutting the first fabric.  So thankful for generous friends -- and I have many of them.
Speaking of puppy dogs, this is our newest family member.  Farley joined us three weeks ago today and he does love fabric.  He's happy to sneak a scrap (or quilt block) from my quilt room and carry it around. I am not happy with that behavior so we're working on it. He's about six months old and still a puppy -- literally.
I hope you have generous friends, great patterns that never let you down, and a faithful companion of some sort who also loves fabric!

Best wishes for a wonderful family filled Thanksgiving!

Jan

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Boo!


Have you ever seen such a wild quilt? This is for our 4 year old grandson for Halloween and was loads of fun to do. Thanks to logcabinquilts who has been reducing her stash (I know - I don't get it either) and offered fabrics to me, I was gifted all these cute Halloween fabrics. Some were yardage and others were small pieces but this pattern is perfect for those. Thank you, LG.

The pattern is from Wanda at Exuberant Color and she has a great tutorial on her blog. Click here for a direct link to her Cross Quilt. But pay attention to her instructions -- they are spot on and it always takes me about two rows of sewing to get my rhythm down right. It goes together like a dream and uses 6.5" strips rather than five 2.5" squares.  Goes together much faster. Thank you, Wanda.
The backing is fun and looked darling on the quilt. Candy corn fleece - what's not to love! And I think is really what my grandson likes the most.
And since this is for a 4 year old, will never be entered in a quilt show, and was just for fun, I decided to try my hand at free-hand quilting spiderwebs (in purple thread).  No rulers - no templates - no real plan.  He loved it and it's pretty forgiving!

So in the end, it was fun, went together quickly, I learned a lot quilting it, and it got to Toronto well before Halloween!

I hope you're finding time to quilt for someone you love!

Jan



Sunday, October 5, 2014

Quick! What color is this quilt?

This is a serious question!  I have asked a number of friends and the answers are not consistent.  Now, I'll be the first to say the photography is less than "good" but we're all looking at the same pictures.  So, what color is this quilt when you first look at it?


What about now?  It's a "blue" quilt, huh?  The shade creates a consistent sense of color for some reason that I don't understand and am not likely to spend much time trying to figure out.
These are the wonderful fabrics I got at Houston last year (sigh....).  They are Caryl Bryer Fallert's reproductions of her hand dyes and I adore them. They were a Benartex product. But, I only have two strips left and need to bind the quilt.
I quilted this on my longarm with Glide thread -- it's a pale pale silver that almost has a metallic look.  I had a few problems with an occasional skipped stitch and actually "unquilted" about 2/3 of a pass because of tension issues that popped up.  I'm sure this was something I did and not the Glide.  And I could not be happy with this on the back -- so I finished the quilt, took it off, ripped, and put it back on.  I'm much happier!
So -- this really is a serious question.  I'd love to bind with a dominant color but I can't figure out what that would be!

I hope you are finding time to quilt with fabrics you love!

Jan

Monday, September 29, 2014

# 9



Nine down -- seven to go along with about a bazillion little border blocks.   This block was particularly hard for me to design and I do not love it but I will leave it.  I can be very comfortable pulling fabrics for a red or blue or purple block.  But when it comes to greens, yellows, and oranges (not to mention neutrals), it's not as easy for me.  This one will not be a star but I repeatedly tell myself when I'm quilting that not every fabric nor block can always be the center of attention.  And it's done!

This is Kim McLean's Lollypop quilt and if you've read my blog very long, you've been on this journey with me.  And we are only slightly over half way.  YIKES!  I'll give my fingers a day or two to heal and then start another one!

Hoping you are working on something that gives you joy!

Jan